I met my beshert 25 years ago this past March. I had just come off a year of not dating after a bad relationship. I was getting more comfortable with myself and what made me happy and decided that part of that happiness would be a loving, supportive relationship.
But I was a grad student in a Ph.D. program in New York, practically living in the lab and not likely to meet too many new people. A fellow student in my program, Aaron, asked if I’d be willing to go on a blind date with his college friend, Dan. His logic? We were both “similarly Jewish.” To this day, I’m still not sure what he meant, but I agreed to go.
I almost canceled the day before when our matchmaker began to tell me how argumentative this guy was (Dan was in law school) and that he “looked like a lightbulb.” Dan is argumentative but I didn’t discover that for a while. He definitely did not look like a lightbulb. It was a good thing Aaron went to find him when he came to the lab to pick me up for our date. I never would have recognized him on my own from that description.
I am forever grateful that I went. I met this wonderful guy who had an easy smile, liked the things I liked and walked me home. I remember waiting for a lady in my apartment building to finish her cigarette and go inside so we could say goodnight. It was the sweetest, most magical first kiss.
Our next date began with Torah study and services. We spent the whole day together. In a very short time, we were spending every day together. I remember this intense sensation with him of being at home that lasts to this very day. Within four months, we were engaged and, just over a year later, married.
In Dan, I found my lifetime best friend. Our friendship and love affair has thrived over 25 years. We’ve been fortunate. We’ve had our share of challenges, including a scare with our older daughter when she was a newborn, career changes, elderly relatives with illnesses and, most recently, our newly-empty nest. Nothing ever felt like it was more than we could handle together.
We ended our wedding video with Jimmy Buffett’s “I Have Found Me a Home.” Every time I hear it, my beshert’s face pops into my head and the feeling of the new love we found in each other swells.
Jennifer and Dan Zinman will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their engagement this July. They live in Glen Ridge, NJ. Dan practices litigation and bankruptcy law in NYC and Jennifer teaches science in an all-girls small independent Catholic School. They belong to Bnai Keshet in Montclair, NJ. They have two daughters, one who just graduated from Florida Tech and one who just completed her first year at UVM.
Last week, Moment lost a dear friend, Jack Moskowitz, husband of former Moment poetry editor Faye Moskowitz. He died on June 3, 2020 at the age of 93. He and Faye had been married for 72 years. Read their love story below.
Beshert | From a Shiva to My Lifetime Love